As the series on 1 Peter was coming to a conclusion, my mind naturally turned to the question: ‘Where in the Bible should we go next?’ As I lifted the thought to God in prayer, I felt a very definite nudge (in fact it was a bit stronger than that – more on the way to a shove probably) in the direction of the book of Nehemiah.

Someone said, ‘Nehemiah’s sacrifice of a fine position for the good of the cause (2:5) may typify the sacrificial service always needed when a great work is to be accomplished.’

Nehemiah had a great position and, no doubt, a comfortable lifestyle in the court of the Persian king. But when he discovered the state Jerusalem was in, with its walls broken down and gates burned, he sought permission to return and organise the re-building project.

This book has so much to teach us about spiritual leadership/organisation/administration. We are living through days where we are facing a kind of re-building project, and what is re-built will probably not look quite the same as what we knew before. It’s possible that this re-build may involve us in a painstaking process over many months, and I think Nehemiah is full of timely, and encouraging lessons for us.

I have set my mind in the direction of not only reading Nehemiah, but also praying my way through it. I invite you to join me on this exciting journey. Keep your heart wide-open, praying, ‘Lord show me/us what you want us to see in these days.’

PRAYER: Lord, even though we may think that we are involved in a re-build at ground level, we recognise that you have never stopped building your church, nor will you, until it is complete. So we trust your kingdom purposes. But we see this is not a time for passivity. Help us to roll up our sleeves and work, even as we aim to rely on you alone.